What I Found Missing in the Kanamara Matsuri—the ‘Penis Festival’

  It’s a warm Sunday morning in Kawasaki, Japan. Across the world they are celebrating Easter, possibly April Fool’s Day. How ironic, as I have other plans. I am going to Kawasaki’s Kanamara Matsuri, or as it is known from numerous articles by the foreign press, the “Penis Festival.”   The Kanamara Festival has its […]

How to Enjoy the Sakura—and the Other Alluring Blooms of Spring

A close-up of a plum (ume) blossom in Tokyo, Japan.     As the weather warmed last month, Japan enjoyed its renowned sakura (cherry blossom) season earlier than usual, leading many people to venture outdoors and have a hanami—flower viewing party—in mid-March.   Although the sakura are widely considered Japan’s most famous flower, there are a […]